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The History of the Destruction of Bel and the Dragon, Cut off from the end of Daniel.
And king Astyages was gathered to his fathers, and Cyrus of Persia received his kingdom.
2And Daniel conversed with the king, and was honoured above all his friends.
3Now the Babylons had an idol, called Bel, and there were spent upon him every day twelve great measures of fine flour, and forty sheep, and six vessels of wine.
4And the king worshipped it and went daily to adore it: but Daniel worshipped his own God. And the king said unto him, Why dost not thou worship Bel?
5Who answered and said, Because I may not worship idols made with hands, but the living God, who hath created the heaven and the earth, and hath sovereignty over all flesh.
6Then said the king unto him, Thinkest thou not that Bel is a living God? seest thou not how much he eateth and drinketh every day?
7Then Daniel smiled, and said, O king, be not deceived: for this is but clay within, and brass without, and did never eat or drink any thing.
8So the king was wroth, and called for his priests, and said unto them, If ye tell me not who this is that devoureth these expences, ye shall die.
9But if ye can certify me that Bel devoureth them, then Daniel shall die: for he hath spoken blasphemy against Bel. And Daniel said unto the king, Let it be according to thy word.
10Now the priests of Bel were threescore and ten, beside their wives and children. And the king went with Daniel into the temple of Bel.
11So Bel's priests said, Lo, we go out: but thou, O king, set on the meat, and make ready the wine, and shut the door fast and seal it with thine own signet;
12And to morrow when thou comest in, if thou findest not that Bel hath eaten up all, we will suffer death: or else Daniel, that speaketh falsely against us.
13And they little regarded it: for under the table they had made a privy entrance, whereby they entered in continually, and consumed those things.
14So when they were gone forth, the king set meats before Bel. Now Daniel had commanded his servants to bring ashes, and those they strewed throughout all the temple in the presence of the king alone: then went they out, and shut the door, and sealed it with the king's signet, and so departed.
15Now in the night came the priests with their wives and children, as they were wont to do, and did eat and drinck up all.
16In the morning betime the king arose, and Daniel with him.
17And the king said, Daniel, are the seals whole? And he said, Yea, O king, they be whole.
18And as soon as he had opened the dour, the king looked upon the table, and cried with a loud voice, Great art thou, O Bel, and with thee is no deceit at all.
19Then laughed Daniel, and held the king that he should not go in, and said, Behold now the pavement, and mark well whose footsteps are these.
20And the king said, I see the footsteps of men, women, and children. And then the king was angry,
21And took the priests with their wives and children, who shewed him the privy doors, where they came in, and consumed such things as were upon the table.
22Therefore the king slew them, and delivered Bel into Daniel's power, who destroyed him and his temple.
23And in that same place there was a great dragon, which they of Babylon worshipped.
24And the king said unto Daniel, Wilt thou also say that this is of brass? lo, he liveth, he eateth and drinketh; thou canst not say that he is no living god: therefore worship him.
25Then said Daniel unto the king, I will worship the Lord my God: for he is the living God.
26But give me leave, O king, and I shall slay this dragon without sword or staff. The king said, I give thee leave.
27Then Daniel took pitch, and fat, and hair, and did seethe them together, and made lumps thereof: this he put in the dragon's mouth, and so the dragon burst in sunder : and Daniel said, Lo, these are the gods ye worship.
28When they of Babylon heard that, they took great indignation, and conspired against the king, saying, The king is become a Jew, and he hath destroyed Bel, he hath slain the dragon, and put the priests to death.
29So they came to the king, and said, Deliver us Daniel, or else we will destroy thee and thine house.
30Now when the king saw that they pressed him sore, being constrained, he delivered Daniel unto them:
31Who cast him into the lions' den: where he was six days.
32And in the den there were seven lions, and they had given them every day two carcases, and two sheep: which then were not given to them, to the intent they might devour Daniel.
33Now there was in Jewry a prophet, called Habbacuc, who had made pottage, and had broken bread in a bowl, and was going into the field, for to bring it to the reapers.
34But the angel of the Lord said unto Habbacuc, Go, carry the dinner that thou hast into Babylon unto Daniel, who is in the lions' den.
35And Habbacuc said, Lord, I never saw Babylon; neither do I know where the den is.
36Then the angel of the Lord took him by the crown, and bare him by the hair of his head, and through the vehemency of his spirit set him in Babylon over the den.
37And Habbacuc cried, saying, O Daniel, Daniel, take the dinner which God hath sent thee.
38And Daniel said, Thou hast remembered me, O God: neither hast thou forsaken them that seek thee and love thee.
39So Daniel arose, and did eat: and the angel of the Lord set Habbacuc in his own place again immediately.
40Upon the seventh day the king went to bewail Daniel: and when he came to the den, he looked in, and behold, Daniel was sitting.
41Then cried the king with a loud voice, saying, Great art Lord God of Daniel, and there is none other beside thee.
42And he drew him out, and cast those that were the cause of his destruction into the den: and they were devoured in a moment before his face.
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